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Anchorage Assembly moves closer to plan for a winter homeless shelter

Anchorage City Hall.
Anchorage City Hall.(Jeremy Kashatok/Alaska's News Source)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:14 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 30 original sites in play for a plan to shelter Anchorage’s homeless population over the winter have now been narrowed down to seven, with hopes that the COVID-19 mass care extension is expected to be covered financially through the end of the year.

The Anchorage Assembly held two meetings early Tuesday afternoon in order to determine how to pay for extended mass care and to determine how to move forward with additional short-term and long-term plans to combat homelessness in the municipality.

Several mayoral appropriations will be presented to the assembly during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, where they will have an opportunity to discuss, debate, and perhaps vote on the proposals. The funding requests seek to use city funds, and reimburse them with state and federal assistance, to continue to fund mass care services for COVID-19, such as housing vulnerable populations in the Sullivan Arena and other city locations.

A list of new sites and dates were presented in hopes of receiving the public’s detailed input. According to documents provided at the meetings, the administration and the Legislative Drafting Group for Mass Care and Long-Term Navigation Decisions identified seven alternative sites to be further evaluated individually, or in combination, for mass care for the upcoming winter.

  • Sullivan Arena (current shelter site)
  • 3330 Denali (Johnsons Tire)
  • 550 Bragaw (vacant building on seven acres)
  • 630 E Tudor (former Alaska Club)
  • Denali / E 40th St (8 acres, former proposed National Archives site)
  • Tudor / Elmore (current evidence lot)
  • Tudor / Elmore Development Site (west; site 8 Tozier tract)

The Universal Building at 2522 Arctic Blvd. has been removed from consideration due to a pending sale. The ongoing discussions and plans are intentionally nonpartisan in nature with a timeline and outlined goals agreed to, as well as continued discussion regarding the plan to finance continued shelter.

The continued timeline has crucial meeting dates for the public in addition to the working group.

Sept. 15 - Assembly Committee on Housing and Homelessness

Sept. 24 - Engineering Site Assessment and Cost Estimate Report (The Boutet Co.)

Oct. 5 - Work session with Assembly/public

Oct. 12 - Assembly meeting

Oct. 15 (TBD) - Town Hall

These meetings will be subsequently followed by two weeks of public hearings.

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